Monday, November 9, 2015

A Spirit of Gratitude

When I first started this blog I regularly posted things I was grateful for. The items on the weekly lists varied from heat on cold mornings to sweet excited puppy greetings to lazy evenings in with David. I tried hard to think of different items, but often had repeaters because they meant so much to me. I got away from that habit and in turn got away from thinking of things I was routinely grateful for. 

Fast forward to earlier this year when I read Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts. It was a beautifully written book full of poetic musings from Voskamp and while it took me a while to get through (too much of her writing at one time hurt my brain!), I am very glad I did. I was able to take away from it the concept of "eucharisteo" and started to pause more in my day for moments of thankfulness.

Fast forward even more to present day when I am once again struggling to be grateful for my many blessings. I find it easy to be thankful when I am exposed to the less fortunate, but am not as quick to lift my arms in praise when caught up in the day to day. I find it hard to be thankful for a toddler's temper tantrum until I see a friend post on social media about her child who is so physically and mentally delayed this child will never lift her head on her own. And I'm complaining about my perfectly healthy child?!? Shameful.

Instead of allowing myself to get caught in the day to day I am going to be taking the time to write down 3-5 things/people/moment/events/etc I am grateful for every day. I am asking for your prayers to keep my mind and heart clear and focused on the Lord's blessings as I do this because we must remember. . .

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Halloween Happenings

Last year for Halloween we stayed close to the house and Amelia Grace wore her costume for all of 15 minutes before she decided she'd had enough of being a little chickie. This year was way different and has me even more excited for the future! Our little strawberry had more fun than I can express in these simple words as she went to a few houses and then hung out with her new pal, Addie. She even got to enjoy a piece of her candy behind our backs when she somehow managed to get a KitKat bar open without our help! I think it's safe to say we have a Halloween fan in our fam. What made the day even more special was when we got to introduce her to Carter-Finley Stadium for her first tailgate and football experience. This year is going to be hard to top!

Go Pack!

Our little cheerleader went trick-or-treating in the parking lot before the game.

SO much joy in this little one's heart!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Mountain Getaway

I love Fall and everything that comes along with it. Changing leaves? More like eye candy. Pumpkin spice everything? Never met a pumpkin-spiced food I haven't loved. Cooler temperatures and shorter days? Sounds like an excuse to binge watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Seriously, I absolutely adore Fall. A few weekends ago we were fortunate enough to head to the mountains and take in some of the gorgeous views of North Carolina with some fantastic friends.

We kept it low-key on Friday evening but ramped up the fun Saturday and Sunday with hiking, the outlet mall, and multiple trips to the grocery store (there were 12 people total-we couldn't help but forget a few things here and there!). The kiddos had a great time running around our incredible hideaway "cabin" (it slept all of us comfortably which blows my idea of a cabin right out of the water!) and through the woods on our hikes. There were lots of laughs and good food to be had and I'm pretty sure we all left with our hearts a little fuller as well. All in all it was a fabulous weekend and we can't wait to do it again soon!!

You mean your husband doesn't do push-ups while baby wearing??

Baby girl taking in the views.

So many beautiful leaves!

She was NOT a fan of the horses!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Love Ran Red

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to attend the Women of Faith conference which included a performance by the awesome Christian band, Building 429. That was my first ever "Christian concert" and it was incredible! I've been to lots of concerts over the years (thanks, Mom, for taking me to see NSYNC and not complaining about your ears bleeding), but that one was a totally new experience. As luck would have it one of my most favorite acts was performing later that week in Raleigh. I had been bitten by the concert bug and knew I needed to go. I talked to David about it and while he would have gone if I had begged and pleaded it wasn't really his thing, but my mom on the other hand was totally up for it, so later that night I bought tickets for us to see Rend Collective and Chris Tomlin!

You may remember me mentioning Rend Collective a few months ago when I wrote about "Amelia Grace's song". She and I would rock out every morning to "My Lighthouse" this summer while living in the apartment so it will always hold a special place in my heart. Aside from that spectacular work of music, they have a bunch of wonderful, Christ-focused words put to music that reminds me of Mumford & Sons. That's a win-win if I ever saw one. So while I was "eh" about seeing Chris Tomlin I was stoked to see Rend Collective! 

Neither act disappointed as we spent the evening worshipping the Lord with a couple hundred other friends. Rend Collective kicked off a great show with a few of their classics (including "My Lighthouse"!) and Chris Tomlin rounded out the evening with a few songs of his own. Both acts were great and well worth the money! If you have the chance to see either I would highly recommend taking that chance!

Me and Mama!

My Lighthouse!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Got To Be NC!

Every year for as long as I can remember I have gone to the Carolina Renaissance Festival in the Fall. When David and I got married he joined in and it became one of our favorite traditions (recaps can be found here and here) and last year we added Amelia Grace to the adventure! Following our big move this summer we knew we would have to replace this year's Renaissance Festival visit with something a little different-the North Carolina State Fair! Many moons ago (okay, like 8 years ago) David and I started going together when we were in college. Little did we know that we would be returning with our sweet girl down the road! 

My two sisters heard we were going and decided to join us for the adventure. Mandy and her husband, Tyler, provided the trip with the awesome camera that took the following pictures. Abby and her boyfriend, Mark, brought his kids who provided lots of entertainment. It's definitely more fun to go with kids who appreciate the fair with a child-like wonder that is often lost on adults. 

Rides were ridden, food was eaten, and lots of fun was had! Here are a few pictures from the day. . .

We all paid for our adventures dearly as we are all fighting a nasty cold but it was worth it. Hopefully the next time we go we will all stay healthy!